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Switching to Flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by greydominion, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. greydominion

    greydominion

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    I have been using D'Addario Half Rounds on my '72 Jazz Bass, but still sometimes feel they are not "smooth" enough and leave too much fret noise/clicking etc. I use a pick and play similar music/style ala The Cure and Simon Gallup. I understand he used flatwounds at least during my favorite era 17 Seconds, Faith, Pornography.

    Will switching to flatwounds help me find what I'm looking for or will they be too dull? What brand do you recommend? I've heard chromes are good.
  2. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

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    Chromes are a great place to start, very smooth and a very "bright" flat, as far as flats go anyways. I have used them and really like them, but I am back to using my TI jazz flats again.

    Good Luck!
  3. ray_yo

    ray_yo

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    i also play thomastik-infeld jazz flats, but i don't like the chromes at all. there's a big difference between the two.
  4. morgan138

    morgan138

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    I've found that playing flats with a pick can get you a pronounced lower midrange "plonk" and lack of low bass that I don't like. It's weird, because I don't notice a comparable change when switching from fingerstyle rounds to flats. This is with a jazz bass and ss amp, so a warmer bass and/or amp might work better though...
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes

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    The "new" Fender 9050 CL 45-105 flats are steel wrap rather than chrome or nickel, and give tone and smoothness without the "thunk" that chromes can sometimes do or being too mellow, unless you're really after that tone. They have changed me from a roundwound guy after 35+ years with rounds. They are also relatively inexpensive, so if you don't like them, you're not out that much.

    TI's pure nickel wrap is very mellow; chromes are "hollow."
  6. lunarpollen

    lunarpollen

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    I've used LaBella flats, Pyramid flats, TI Jazz flats, and Chromes, and they've all had their pros and cons for me. Personally I use Chromes on my main bass (I play a lot of post-punk type stuff), they have a nice aggressive edge and plenty of bottom too. The TI strings are super comfortable and easy on the fingers, but had no real oomph to them, it was mostly mids-oriented, very generic MOR 70's rock sounding. I LOVE Pyramids, they feel very posh and sound nice, but they are very pricy. LaBellas are a nice balance of classic old-school thump and comfortable feel, and they are not too pricy, but *might* not be aggressive enough for what you're looking for. I've never tried Rotosound or Fender flats.
  7. greydominion

    greydominion

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    The Fender custom lights seem a little hard to track down. What do you think an ideal string gauge is? I'm thinking about getting either Fenders or Chromes because they're similar in price.

    Or should I just get some nickel rounds for my T-Bird and call it a day? :p (or do flats/halfs sound okay on that?).

    Anybody have an idea of what strings Simon Gallup uses exactly? I know they are Rotosounds.
  8. greydominion

    greydominion

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    Opinions on Rotosound Jazz Bass flats?
  9. BassBob1

    BassBob1

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    The fenders and chromes are apparently very similar. I recommend you start at 45-100 set. Thats my favorite gauge of chromes I've used and they are on both of my basses (a J and P). I have also used 50-105 and 40-100. I tried rotosound jazz flats in 40-100 and 45-105 and didn't really like either of them as much as the chromes. The rotos just kind of sounded too lacking in the mids and both the E and A strings have a rough feel compared to the D and G. TI flats sounded ok I guess but were by far the lowest tension strings I have every used and I just couldn't like them.
  10. greydominion

    greydominion

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    The finger drag is my least favorite thing about the half rounds. Fender vs. Chromes vs. Rotosound 77? Rotosound seems like a classic flatwound that some of my favorite post punk bass players could've used back in the day (all being from the UK and such).
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    Flatwounds sound kinda dull on their own, but they really sing in the mix. I remember my first gig with flats and thought that I had never sounded better before that gig.
  12. tekdiver500ft

    tekdiver500ft Supporting Member

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    Rotosound 77s are a really great sounding string, but rather stiff. I've found a fantastic tone and playability with Sadowsky Black Label flats. There is some brightness and grind available, great articulation, yet the classic flat thump is there when needed. Best, they are almost as floppy as TIs, so they play well.
  13. greydominion

    greydominion

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    Would the lighter gauge (40-100) 77s make up for the stiffness or would I lose something? I have medium Half Rounds on now (50-105).
  14. bolombo

    bolombo

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    +1 for the Sad flats ;)
  15. tekdiver500ft

    tekdiver500ft Supporting Member

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    I went from .104 LaBellas to .100 Rotosound 77s, and the Rotosounds are stiffer. I tried the .105 Rotosounds between the two, and they were slightly less stiff than the .100s, but still more than the LaBellas.
  16. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

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    +2 Wonderful strings!
  17. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

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    +3! I keep these on my "old school" P/J, and TI jazz flats on a Sadowsky Metro 5/24. They both kill, but in different ways. The groovy thing about the Sadowsky flats is that they are not the very best at any one thing, but are among the very best in virtually EVERY thing.
  18. tekdiver500ft

    tekdiver500ft Supporting Member

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    Exactly! Jack of all trades, master of none... but really darned close!
  19. greydominion

    greydominion

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    I ended up putting a pair of Fender 9050Ls on my J bass. Sounds good so far (and way better than when I had half or round wounds on)! Thanks guys.
  20. lowendfriend

    lowendfriend Supporting Member

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    I agree for the heavier gauge.....the lighter ones lose something.

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